How do we assess pupils' learning?
The school welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum in 2014 and saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that makes sense to parents. We were very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needed to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a Key Stage.
The principles that underpin our assessment system are:
- Every child can achieve: teachers at Fielding have the mindset, ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’
- The National Curriculum objectives will be used as the expectations for all children.
- Pupils will make age appropriate progress from their different starting points – 12 months in 12 months, more for those who need to 'close the gap' to reach age related expectations.
- Teachers are experts at assessment - assessment will be effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.
Our assessment and reporting system includes:
- Ongoing assessment against the National Curriculum objectives by the class teacher throughout each lesson, through questioning, observation and dialogue.
- Children knowing what they are being asked to learn and more importantly, why.
- Success Criteria are discussed and agreed with or formulated by the children during each lesson, work is then assessed against the success criteria.
- Three way feedback, pupil, peer, teacher with clearly identified next steps – this can be written or verbal feedback.
- Regular pupils’ work scrutiny.
- Progress tests for English and maths
All of the above feed into 'Data snap-shots', these will take place at class, phase and subject level three times a year, towards the end of each term.
Statutory Assessments (End of Key Stage)
In addition to the above assessments, pupils also complete the following statutory assessments:
- Reception – Baseline, (statutory Sep. 16), EYFS profile
- Year 1 (and 2) - Phonics Check
- Years 2 and 6 - end of Key Stage assessments
Alongside the introduction of the new National Curriculum, levels were removed for all Year Groups instead at the end of KS1 and KS2 pupils will be given a scaled score and a ‘performance descriptor’ against the expected standard.
In order to be ‘secondary ready’ children need to meet the required end of Key Stage 2 expectations; this is broken down into key outcomes for each curriculum year. We use the National Curriculum objectives to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year – for example:
- A child that has achieved all the objectives set out for Year 3 for reading (and no further) would be said to be working at the end of Year 3 expectation for reading.
- A child achieving half or so of the mathematics objectives for Year 5 would be classed as working at the mid-Year 5 expectation for maths.
- A child achieving only a few reading objectives for Year 1 would be classed as working at the beginning of Year 1 expectation.
We use the following 'Golden Codes' to assess pupils knowledge of the curriculum, against age-related expectations, in each core subject area:
- Secure, reflecting that age-related objectives have been achieved
In addition to assessing curriculum knowledge we also assess the way pupils apply their skills and knowledge. This is known as the 'Depth of Learning' rating (sometimes known as Mastery). There are four Depth of Learning ratings:
- #1 Shallow learner
- #2 Expected depth for age
- #3 Deeper learner
- #4 Deepest learner
The depth and application of a child’s learning is an important marker of their achievement and progress.
Pupils' assessments are made up of two components, their Golden Code and their Depth of Learning rating, for example:
A pupil who has been assessed as Y3S #3 has achieved the expected outcomes for Year 3 and has achieved above the standard expected for their depth and understanding of learning, they have a good application of the knowledge they have learnt.
Tracking progress over-time, Yr 1- 6
To track progress overtime our Golden Codes and Depth of Learning rating are linked to Tracking Points, these are used to examine progress and attainment numerically (as an average). Depth of Learning rating modify tracking points (see image above).
Early Years - Nursery & Reception
Class teacher's will use a combination of the EYFS profile and the a baseline assessment to measure children's progress.
- The baseline assessment will result in a score that forms part of each child’s baseline profile. By having a good understanding of the child’s abilities when they start school, class teacher's are able to measure each child's progress and plan for next steps in learning.
- The baseline assessment is face-to-face with a mixture of tasks and observational checklists.
- The EYFS profile assessment is carried out in the final term of Reception
- The main purpose of the EYFS profile is to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS.
EYFS profile data is used to:
- Inform parents about their child’s development against the early learning goals (ELGs) and the characteristics of their learning.
- Help year 1 teachers plan an effective, responsive and appropriate curriculum that will meet the needs of each child.
Children in Nursery and Reception are assessed against the Prime and Specific areas of Learning in the EYFS profile, these are recorded on our on-line system, Early Essence. Assessments are based on observation of daily activities and events. At the end of Reception for each Early Learning Goal, teachers will judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the Reception year:
- Emerging, not yet reached the expected level of development
- Exceeding, beyond the expected level of development for their age
Phonics Screening Check Year 1
- The Phonics Screening Check demonstrates how well pupils can use the phonics skills they have learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify those who need extra phonics help.
- The checks consist of 40 words and non-words that your child will be asked to read one-on-one with a teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything.
- The 40 words and non-words are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters.
- Pupils will be scored against a national standard, and the main result will be whether or not they fall below, within or above this standard
- Pupils who do not meet the required standard in Year 1 will be re-checked in Year 2.
Reporting to Parents
- Following each 'Data-Snapshot' we report termly to parents via School Pupil Tracker Online (SPTO) and Early Essence. Parents have on-line access to pupil assessment records at all times, apart from when the ‘Data Snap-Shots’ are taking place.
- Discussions at parent, teacher, consultation meetings in the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms are based on the assessment system in place for each age group.
- Parents also receive annual progress test reports, outcomes of statutory assessments and an annual report.